Why you should clean a public toilet

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devotional on proverbs 2011
Youth reveal their true natures by their actions whether they do what is pure and right or not. Proverbs 20:11 (VOICE)

Weights, mats and balls lie everywhere.

It’s an early morning gym class and everyone is in a rush to leave. Some are rushing to drop children at school, others need to shower before heading to work and a few making their way to a spinning class. 

I return my equipment and head back to grab my water and keys. 

I’m in a rush to make it to work. 

As I walk out I notice abandoned mats and weights scattered around the room. 

I slow. I think about picking it up. I take a few more steps towards the door. I stop.

I collect up some of the equipment and stow it at the back and I think about the verse in Proverbs that talks about how we reveal our true natures by our actions. 

Often it isn’t the big things we do that give away who we really are but the little things we think no one else sees. (tweet this)

Small things like walking out a room, and presuming that someone else will pick up after you, often reveal a bigger character flaw.

Years ago I read an interview with Matt Redman and he was sharing about how he was trying to learn to worship God when no one was watching. One of the ways he was practicing this was by trying to leave public toilets cleaner after he’d been there then when he came in. 

It’s a small thing. Tiny enough that no one will notice and no one will thank you yet big enough to make a difference. 

That interview stayed with me and for years I’ve tried to practice being consistent and worshipful in small things. 

I often fail. There are plenty of days when I’m too tired or lazy or not bothered to worship in public toilets and sweaty gyms and with my hands in dirty soapy water.

Just ask my husband how our kitchen looks most days: dirty dishes on the stove, in the sink, on the sideboard. 

who we really areOccasionally I look at those dishes as Proverbs 20:11 runs through my mind, People reveal their true natures by their actions whether they do what is pure and right or not.

It’s easy to say, “It’s just dishes” or “It’s only gym equipment” or “It’s not my job to clean a public toilet” but what does that reveal about my true nature?

I feel uncomfortable answering the question because the answer reveals that often I don’t do what is pure and right. 

Often I do what is easy and wrong but that is not the person I want to be. (tweet this)

I want to be someone whose actions reveal love, kindness, purity, generosity and hope. 

I want to be that person so I’m going to start with putting away gym equipment, leaving public toilets cleaner then when I entered, and not letting the dishes pile up.

What kind of person do you want to be? What are you prepared to do to become that person?

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Vintage gym photo credit: rob_stoppable | Weight stand photo credit: Koukouvaya* | Dumbbells photo credit: Pewari | Design: Wendy van Eyck

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